Are "RTA" Cabinets a Good Investment?

Posted by Jamie G. on 8th Jun 2023

Saturday, February 4, 2017

HomeAdvisor estimates that the average cost to renovate a kitchen is $20,556.

Additionally, the cost of replacing kitchen cabinets can range anywhere between $1,200 and $8,500. If you are like most homeowners who desire a new look for their kitchen, you may not have $8,500 to spend on new kitchen cabinets. Fortunately, you can save money and still get high-quality kitchen cabinets by purchasing ready to assemble (RTA) cabinets.

What Are RTA Cabinets?


RTA cabinets are cabinets that are shipped to you or are purchased ready to assemble. Ultimately, with RTA cabinets, you’ll have to do a little work to them before installation.

When you order RTA cabinets, you get a box of cabinet pieces, much like a box of furniture pieces when you order a desk online. To put your RTA cabinets together, you’ll need a few tools to complete the assembly process. Like ordering furniture online, the RTA cabinets are easy to assemble, and you reap the benefits of getting deep discounts, which reduces the cost of your kitchen renovation.

What's the Difference Between RTA and Assembled Cabinets?

To completely understand what RTA cabinets are, let’s compare them to assembled cabinets.

Assembled cabinets are cabinets you’ll see in many home improvement stores on display. These cabinets are already assembled and ready for installation in your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners see these cabinets and think they are their only options; however, that’s simply not the case. Most home improvement stores display these cabinets because they are high margin items; they make more money from selling these cabinets.

A higher price doesn’t always equate to higher quality. Assembled cabinets have a higher price tag due to the extra labor associated with putting them together and because shipping them assembled is costly, not because they are of a higher quality.

Additionally, with assembled cabinets, it’s likely you won’t find all the cabinets you need in-store, especially specialty units. As such, you’ll have to order additional cabinets, which can cost you more and delay your DIY kitchen cabinet installation.

Are RTA Cabinets a Better Option?

attaching cabinets

RTA cabinets, the other option you have as a cabinet choice, boasts many benefits for homeowners. The following are a few added benefits of purchasing RTA cabinets over assembled cabinets.

Get quality cabinets for less.With RTA cabinets costing less than assembled cabinets, homeowners won’t have to choose their second or third option for cabinets in an effort to maintain their budget. They can choose their first choice of cabinet design and still save money.

RTA cabinets ship quickly.If you are like most homeowners, you want to spend the shortest amount of time on your kitchen renovation. By ordering RTA cabinets, you’ll shave time off your schedule since RTA cabinets don’t have to be customized like assembled cabinets.

RTA cabinets come in a variety of styles and finishes.Just because you are opting for RTA cabinets doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. There are many grains, finishes, and colors to choose from when you purchase RTA cabinets.

RTA cabinets allow you to remodel your kitchen and get the look you’ve always desired. Although RTA cabinets are cheaper in price, these cabinets aren’t cheaply made. You save money with these cabinets because the manufacturer doesn’t have to spend money investing in assembly labor. So go ahead, splurge a little. Get the RTA cabinets that will bring the final look of your kitchen renovation together, for less than the cost of assembled cabinets.

About the Author

Jamie G. has written countless articles about the real estate market. She has an uncanny ability to dissect complex topics and present them to audiences naturally. Her work includes topics on interest rates, multigenerational housing, and home staging.

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